Page images
PDF
EPUB

Wheaton's International Law, English Edition ; with Notes and an Appendix of Statutes and Treaties to the present time. By A. C. Boyd, Esq., LL.B., Barrister-at-Law. Stevens & Sons. 1878.

A very familiar old friend here comes before us in quite a new dress, and impresses us first of all by the remarkable diminution in his bulk, so great has been the compression to which the eminent American Publicist has been subjected by Mr. Boyd. This result has not been obtained without the sacrifice of much that went to constitute the special differentia of Wheaton from other text-books on International Law. Mr. W. Beach Law. rence's very valuable notes and appendices are, of course, entirely absent from Mr. Bcyd's edition, which appears to be based chiefly upon that of Mr. R. H. Dana. The sections are numbered continuously throughout, following the arrangement of Mr. Dana. The parts and chapters no longer form a portion of the running title at the head of each leaf, as in the old editions, e.g., that of 1869, now before us. The footnotes are reduced to references to works cited in the text. Mr. Boyd's appendix is cast somewhat in the same mould as that which Dr. Abdy gives to Kent's Commentaries, and each contains some features not in the other. We may notice the English and American Extradition Acts as a useful speciality of Mr. Boyd's appendix. Students who require a knowledge of Wheaton's text will find Mr. Boyd's volume very convenient, but they will miss a great deal that made the book unique in its olden shape.

Kent's Commentary on International Law. Edited by J. T. Abdy, LL.D., Judge of County Courts, and Law Professor at Gresham College. Cambridge: Deighton & Bell. London : Stevens & Sons, and George Bell. 1878.

A second edition of Abdy's Kent's International Law scarcely needs comment at our hands, except in so far as the personal views of Dr. Abdy occasionally come to the surface. On the case of the Franconia, we observe that the learned editor intimates his concurrence rather with the judgment of Mr. Justice Lindley than with that of the Lord Chief Justice, though his own view is suggested rather than expressed. On that vexed question the readers of the Law Magazine and Review have already enjoyed the advantage of such a full and luminous discussion, in two separate articles from the pen of Sir Travers Twiss, that we feel it unnecessary to make any remarks upon it in this place. Dr. Abdy distinguishes the numerous passages which he has added to Chancellor Kent's text by inserting them within brackets, but he does not carry out this principle in the footnotes as might have been expected. His appendices are extremely useful, particularly the tabular list of the principal Treaties and. Conventions between Russia and Turkey, from the Peace of Carlowitz to the Treaty of London, 1871, with relative references to the collections in which the full text will be found. Dr. Abdy commences with the Treaty of Belgrade, 1724, in giving extracts from those portions of the Treaties which relate to the navigation of the Black Sea, and that diplomatic bête noire, the channel of Constantinople.

Halleck's International Law. A New Edition revised, with Notes and Cases, by Sir SHERSTON BAKER, Bart., Barrister-atLaw. C. Kegan Paul & Co. 1878.

As we are passing through the press, we receive yet another proof of English appreciation of American Publicists, in the shape of the two handsome volumes in which Sir Sherston Baker has brought out his carefully revised edition of General Halleck's valuable work. The present editor has provided for his author what our late distinguished contributor, Sir Edward Creasy, pointed out as requisite- viz., an Index. He has also in part conveniently re-arranged the text, and has added throughout a continuous series of notes at once critical and historical, together with Appendices wherever required, either by the altered circumstances of Europe, the progress of International Law, or the editor's own divergence from his author's views. This divergence is sometimes very marked, and reminds us of the discrepancies similarly exhibited in Hallam's Middle Ages, where that judicious historian's own notes not unseldom contradict or upset his text. Sir Sherston's notes, where not appended for the purpose of intimating a difference from General Halleck, are mainly historical. We do not always agree with the language in which events are stated, especially in the annotations relating to the consolidation of the Kingdom of Italy. On the other hand, we find some interesting particulars concerning the exercise of the “veto,” or exclusion of a particular candidate for the Papacy, in a note on Conclaves at p. 89 of Vol. I., and we are glad to observe that the novel claims arising out of Torpedo warfare receive attention at the hands of Sir Sherston, who prints some Russian official documents on the subject at p. 205 of his second volume. We cannot but think that Sir Sherston made a somewhat infelicitous choice in employing the word “ Quadrangle,” with all its “ Tichborne” associations, to express what is known to the general public, no less than to military and diplomatic writers, as the “ Quadrilateral.” The importance, which may at any moment be vividly brought home to us, of the Laws governing the conduct of troops in war-time, renders us much indebted to Sir Sherston Baker for printing at length, for the first time, we believe, in this country, the often cited and highly esteemed “Instructions for the Government of Armies in the Field,” drawn up under sanction of the U.S.A. authorities in 1863 by Dr. Francis Lieber. Singularly enough, the only place in which we can identify the adoption of a correct orthography of that Publicist's name throughout the present work is in the reprint of the letter from the War Department at Washington accompanying the “Instructions.” Elsewhere Dr. Lieber goes down to posterity as “ Leiber,” and unfortunately his “ Instructions” cannot be referred to by means of the index. We must not omit to draw attention to a feature of Sir Sherston's book, unique, we believe, among general Treatises on International Law-viz., a list of Extradition Treaties between the principal States, given at p. 210 of Vol. I., and which cannot fail to be found a useful source of reference on a subject of great difficulty and increasing importance. The Treaties between Germany and the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, 1876, and between France and the Principality of Monaco, 1876 (promulgated, 1877), are not, however, mentioned, which is the more to be regretted owing to the laborious search requisite to fill up any lacunæ in so useful a list, and also because in the present state of the question every fresh Extradition Treaty is worthy of study, whether for its insertions or its omissions. We trust, however, that an early opportunity for the revision of such points may be afforded by a future issue of Sir Sherston Baker's valuable addition to the literature of International Law.

Roscoe's Digest of the Law of Evidence in Criminal Cases. Ninth Edition. By Horace Smith, Esq., B.A., of the Inner Temple and Midland Circuit, Barrister-at-Law. Stevens & Sons. 1878.

The demand for a Ninth Edition within four years from the publication of the Eighth, bears testimony to the continued popularity in the profession of this handy volume on criminal evidence. Its size renders it convenient to be taken into court for purposes of reference, a feature which the editor has been careful to preserve, the length of the book, he informs us, not having been increased by more than four pages. This limitation has not, however, been attained by the exclusion of the new cases and statutes, all of which have been duly worked in up to the commencement of December, 1877. The general system and arrangement of the work, which have received the approbation of practitioners, remain unaltered in this edition ; but some useless repetition has been avoided by a partial re-arrangement of the titles “ Murder” and “ Manslaughter," " referring those cases which mark the border line between murder and manslaughter to the title Murder, and those which mark the boundary between manslaughter and civil injuries, to the title Manslaughter." Before Mr. Smith prepares his Tenth Edition, we trust that the Law of Murder and Manslaughter will have received from the Legislature those amendments the necessity for which has now become so widely recognised.

An Elementary Treatise on the Law relating to Wills of Personal Property, and some Subjects relating thereto. By John C. H. Flood, of the Middle Temple, Esq., Barrister-at-Law. Wm. Maxwell and Son. 1877.

The author of this work in his preface states that his object has been to meet the want of an elementary work on matters connected with testamentary dispositions of personal property, but that the book is not “ intended to be merely elementary and nothing more," and that, therefore, authorities have been cited for the propositions made, and analyses are given of many of the cases so cited.

The task which Mr. Flood has thus defined and set before himself, he has, as we think, carried out with much care and skill, and has produced a work which furnishes both the student and the practitioner with clearly-stated and concisely-arranged information on this branch of the Law. The scheme is as follows: In the first chapter a general view is taken of the subject — the legal incidents distinguishing a gift inter vivos, a gift mortis causi, and a legacy, are traced out, and definitions are given of the various technical terms used by lawyers in the drawing or interpreting of wills. The second chapter contains a disquisition on personal property generally, treated nevertheless in its relation to wills. The succeeding chapters bear the titles “ Of Wills and Codicils," “ The due Execution of a Will,” “ Of the Revocation of Wills and Codicils," “ Of the Revival of Wills,” “ Concerning the Testamentary Power," “Of Lost, Missing, Destroyed, and Stolen Wills," " Of Mutual, or Conjoint, or Reciprocal Wills, etc.," “ Of Executors and Administrators," “ The Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice, with a Sketch of its Practice in Probate Matters," and lastly, “ On the Distribution of an Intestate's Personal Estate under the Statute of Distributions."

It will be seen that no prominence is given to the Construction of Wills, and that subject is only cursorily and incidentally treated; the book is more adapted to the requirements of Probate than of Chancery practice. Within the limits of its scope, however, we are of opinion-after testing the book by searching for several peculiar and unusual points of practice which arose in some recent administration and other cases-that it will be found to be accurate, and, having regard to its size, satisfactorily complete. In all but one point the promise of the work, as put forward in the preface, is at least equalled by the performance, but that point we cannot pass over entirely without remark. Mr. Flood professes to give concurrent reports of cases cited, “a feature which it is hoped will prove convenient to readers." All that he does give, with regard to recent cases, are references to the authorised Law Reports and to the Law Journal Reports. On comparing his analyses with the notes contained in our own Digest, we find that the Law Times Reports and Weekly Reporter have been unaccountably ignored, so that the profession above referred to requires to be less widely worded. Mr. Flood's style shews that he seldom forgets that his primary object is to provide milk for babes, and he lectures the students for whom he writes in a manner which is at once sententious and conversational, and which often amusingly brings to mind the “ My good child know this" that used to beguile the Sabbatical tedium of our infancy. Nevertheless, we consider this to be a good and useful book, and we would add that the index, in the compilation of which Mr. Flood was aided by Mr. Burnaby, of the Midland Circuit, is complete and well arranged.

« PreviousContinue »